A Hong Kong public hospital has apologised for poor communication after the family of “Uncle Ray” Cordeiro complained about its treatment of the 98-year-old radio legend after he was admitted as an inpatient.
The apology on Friday came after Andy Chow Shun-ho, who was the assistant and godson of the veteran DJ, lodged a complaint against Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei over its handling of Cordeiro last November.
The family took action after they and Chow discovered he had severe oedema and bedsores when they transferred him to the private Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical Centre in the New Territories.
“Our hospital apologises deeply for the discontent caused by insufficient communication between medical staff and family members and will continue to provide all practical help to the patient and his family,” a spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth said.
The hospital statement came after Chow told city media that staff at the Queen Elizabeth had not drained excess fluid from Cordeiro’s lungs as promised and had not told the family they had restrained the retired DJ’s arms and inserted a catheter into his body.
Chow said he would hold a press conference on Monday to reveal more details about Cordeiro’s stay in hospital.
He told the Post that he had also lodged a complaint with the Medical Council, the regulatory and disciplinary body for doctors, and planned to raise the case with the ombudsman or the courts.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital did not discuss its treatment decisions for Cordeiro in its statement.
It only admitted there were “inadequacies” in its communication with Cordeiro and his family in the explanation of hospital transfer arrangements and the implementation of treatment.
The statement said these should have been made clear earlier to ease the family’s concerns and improve the level of understanding on both sides.
“We thought Uncle Ray had a great chance of recovery. It was regrettable that he ended up like this,” Chow told the Post.
Chow said Queen Elizabeth staff had told him and Cordeiro’s grandniece on the second day of the DJ’s stay that he was unsuitable for hospital transfer and that a chest drain would be performed the next day.
But Chow insisted the drain procedure was never carried out as Cordeiro’s doctor had told him the oedema in the lungs was not serious and could be handled by the patient.
Chow said he also discovered the DJ with his arms in restraints and a catheter inserted on the same day.
“The doctor said there was a need to insert the catheter, but he didn’t answer when I asked why,” Chow added.
He said Cordeiro’s hands were also swollen, his right hand was bruised and the area around his intravenous drip was bloodied.
Chow added doctors at the CUHK Medical Centre later told him Cordeiro’s lungs were in a serious condition and drained more than two litres of fluid from them over three days.
He said the family also discovered after the transfer that Cordeiro had stage two bedsores and swelling of the body.
Cordeiro died on January 13 in the CUHK Medical Centre.
The radio veteran, who was a constant on Hong Kong’s airwaves for more than 70 years, was awarded “The World’s Most Durable DJ” accolade by Guinness World Records.
He was already a seasoned radio professional when he launched late-night classics and nostalgia show All the Way with Ray on RTHK in 1970.
He presented the programme for more than 50 years until he retired from the airwaves in 2021, aged 96.